Backing the draw in football is becoming an increasing trend – but where can you find the value?
In a previous post, we looked at some research across 3,000 games in various leagues outside the big five, and how they returned a 34% success rate, bringing a 15% yield.
Now we will look at what value we can find in the draw around specific matches in the top seven football leagues in England – plus the top leagues in Spain, Italy, France and Germany.
Five-year football draw trends
|National League North||24%||27%||21%||25%||26%||25|
|National League South||26%||23%||24%||22%||26%||24|
|Spain La Liga||28%||29%||23%||23%||24%||25|
|Italy Serie A||23%||29%||22%||21%||25%||24|
|France Ligue 1||25%||29%||25%||25%||28%||26|
Looking at the current season, the percentage of draws is highest in League Two – where 31% of games have resulted in a draw.
The Premier League is relatively low at 25%, though this represents a jump from 19% last season.
Moving abroad, the draw percentage in Serie A this season is 23%, suggesting that last season’s 29% was an anomaly, especially when you look at the averages over the past five years.
The mid-season dilemma
Looking at the percentages mid-season is interesting – will we see a pattern whereby the back end of the season produces more (or less) draws, to send a league back towards its average?
For instance, League Two has averaged 27% over the past five years, and this season – so do you keep backing the draw based on the 31% so far, or do you figure that there will be significantly less draws between now and the end of the season.
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Let’s look ahead to this weekend’s games, based on our draw trend criteria, which is:
- Neither team can have drawn in any of their last three matches
- There isn’t a heavy favourite
Back the draw in these games
Here are all the qualifying games for this weekend in the 11 leagues.
Southampton v Aston Villa (Premier League)
Charlton v Luton (Championship)
Fleetwood v Portsmouth (League One)
Northampton v Exeter* (League Two)
Wealdstone v Dorking Wanderers (National League South)
Werder Bremen v Dortmund* (Germany Bundesliga)
Osasuna v Granada (Spain La Liga)
Roma v Lecce (Italy Serie A)
Games with a * are on the borderline of having a heavy favourite, so you may want to make a decision based on the odds on offer.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could have a go at these long shots with heavy favourites:
Lille v Toulouse (French Ligue 1)
SPAL v Juventus (Italy Serie A)
Inter v Sampdoria (Italy Serie A)
Based on the trend, we could expect three of the eight listed to come in (or four of the 11 including the extra three); or you may want to simply lay against any winner in those matches.
In future experiments, we may discount games in leagues with a draw percentage lower than 25% – which at present would rule out Germany Bundesliga, Italy Serie A and National League North.